Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that considers the way the body moves as being central to health, fitness and well-being. Physiotherapists aim to identify the exact cause of your symptoms through a thorough assessment, leading to a diagnosis and a treatment plan. This could include mobilisation and manipulation, electrotherapy such as ultrasound, specific strengthening and stretching exercises, postural education including core stability exercises (Pilates), soft tissue massage and acupuncture for pain relief. We encourage our patients to take responsibility for and take an active role in the management of their problems. This often culminates in a tailor-made home exercise programme which is progressed at the correct time.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine, having been used in China for over 3000 years. The traditional Chinese view is that Qi (energy) flows freely through the body when it is healthy.
If there is a problem then energy flow is blocked. Acupuncture stimulates appropriate points in the body using needles to free this blockage.
The effects of acupuncture are cumulative with a build-up of effects as treatment progresses.
Research has been able to show that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural pain relieving chemicals called endorphins. These assist the body to heal itself through pain relief. 70% of people find acupuncture effective for pain relief.
Chartered Physiotherapists are in a unique position of being able to combine acupuncture for pain relief with other treatment methods such as hands-on therapy such as mobilisation and manipulation.
Conditions that may be helped by acupuncture:
Pain, nausea and dizziness
- Arthritis and rheumatism
Neck and back pain
- Muscle and joint problems eg tennis elbow, frozen shoulder
- Breathing difficulties eg asthma, bronchitis
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Skin conditions
- Multiple sclerosis and stroke patients
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage is a deep soft-tissue treatment. It can be beneficial for a wide range of clients, not just for sports people. It can assist people who are feeling tired and stressed by bringing about relaxation of the muscles, allowing the individual to de-stress. It also helps those who want to improve and maintain muscle flexibility and those who are recovering from any type of injury.
Selina is an expert in providing pre-event massage as part of the preparation for your race, and also post-event massage enabling a speedy recovery for tired and aching muscles, allowing you to return swiftly to your training regime. Massage therapy could help you to maintain healthy muscles, improve posture, increase your energy levels, promote healing, improve flexibility or simply help you to relax.
Myofascial Release (MFR)
Myofascial (myo – muscle, fascia – band) release is a very gentle, therapeutic soft tissue treatment that works primarily on the connective tissue system of the body. This connective tissue, often referred to just as fascia, has been described as the structure of life and is the largest system in the human body. It is a vast and complex arrangement of fibrous tissue that is composed of many different types of collagen and elastin. This complex network gives the body both support and shape as it is wrapped around every organ, nerve fibre, blood vessel, bone and muscle. When the muscles of the body contract they exert a pull on the fascia system creating tension creating both movement and stability of the body. Connective tissue includes tendon, fascia, ligament, skin, joint capsule, retinaculum, aponeurosis amongst other structures.
MFR treatment starts with an assessment of the whole body which looks for symmetry and asymmetry, to help identify where pain may be originating from. Often where the pain is felt is not where the problem is. Fascia can become bound down and restricted through injury, long term tension maybe created through stress and trauma, repetitive movement or habitual asymmetrical posture.
This can lead to excessive and long-term tension on pain sensitive structures which can cause persistent pain. These areas often look normal on scans and x-rays leading sometimes to being told nothing is wrong. This is helpful in some ways as you know there is nothing sinister or wrong with your structure, but it is unhelpful in other ways as it often leaves you wondering why you are in pain if everything looks ‘normal’.
MFR treatment can be indirect, using sustained gentle pressure combined with stretch which over the course of several minutes will allow the bound down areas of connective tissue or fascia to begin sliding and gliding again, increasing tissue range of movement and thus relieving tension on pain sensitive structures. MFR can also be direct which uses a stronger force to ‘soft tissue release’ areas of tension. This can be uncomfortable at the time but is often described as a ‘good, releasing’ pain from which long-term relief can be achieved. If this is too much for you then your therapist will adapt accordingly to what you need and can tolerate.
Dominic has trained under Ruth Duncan http://www.myofascialrelease.co.uk who herself was trained by John F Barnes in USA. John developed his Myofascial Release Approach in the 1970’s and has a huge following around the world for his particular method of MFR. He and his team have trained over 100,000 therapists to date.
At St John’s Physiotherapy, we treat back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, neurological problems such as stroke and multiple sclerosis and many other musculoskeletal conditions
Do you recognise any of these symptoms?
Back pain that stops you from moving freely
Knees and other joints that are painful when you walk
Limbs aching when you lift
Shoulders and neck that ache when you sit still for a long time
Pain from an injury caused while playing a sport
An accident that has left you in discomfort when you move
Any one of these symptoms can adversely affect your life, but all of them can be eased with a course of physiotherapy treatment – helping you to get back to feeling fit and well. In fact, any joint or muscle pain, or any loss of movement can be a sign that physiotherapy will help.